The mood at this year’s Geneva Motor Show was markedly different from that of last year. The manufacturers comprising the global car industry appeared hell-bent on seduction. The beguiling and sexy come-hither was in stark evidence.
And I’m not talking about the hostesses that the big players hire to drape themselves alluringly around their vehicles. Even though, in a vain attempt to avoid the crowds, I was at the door a good 15 minutes before opening time, I didn’t get to photograph the lovely lasses as much as I would have liked. It seems to me that the only way to get any good pictures of these pleasant and welcoming greeters
is to visit the show during the press days. And unfortunately, I don’t have any contacts that would enable me to obtain a press pass. But nevertheless, the few hostesses that noticed me were indeed very kind to me. They smiled and inquired whether I wanted them to be in the picture or not and adapted their position in accordance with my answer. Unfortunately, the rest of the people present were not always that considerate and I came back with a few hundred ruined compositions where people barged in uninvited.
But I digress. The seduction and sex appeal was not due to the attractive hostesses. It was all down to the curvy fiber-carbon bodies firmly balanced on four wheels. Whereas last year, all the
big players of the industry were determined to demonstrate their “green” credentials by proposing models and concepts set to reduce carbon emissions and optimize energy savings (even Ferrari had a concept that paid lip service to the idea), this year they all seemed keen to highlight their inventiveness and imagination by displaying the most outlandish and exciting designs. Supercars and awe-inspiring concept cars screamed for attention and got it in spades.
That is not to say that environmental concerns were totally missing, but there really was no obvious “green” theme at all. Sure, nearly everyone had some sort of hybrid on display, but the buzz and focus was obviously not targeted in that area. It was obvious that the theme of eco-friendliness has, in the worst case become passé or in the best case become mainstream, and therefore, is no longer something that needs to be bandied about.
This year it was all about pornography… car pornography, with luscious curves unashamedly on display, catching the glint of overhead lighting and winking at agape spectators. The crowds huddled around the BMW shark resembling Vision ConnectedDrive roadster with hunger and desire glistening in their eyes. Young boys drooled over the Renault Dezir concept car. Jaws met knees, as crowds huddled around Alfa Romeo 4C. Even Mazda seemed to hint at a
transformation from the staid and boring reliability to an appealing and sexier (but still practical) design with their two concepts embodied by the Shinari and Minagi concept cars.
It seems like all the difficulties experienced in the past couple of years are now forgotten… the car industry is back with a vengeance. No bashfulness, no regrets. The magic that makes little boys dream and adorn their rooms with images of Lamborghinis and Ferraris is unreservedly back in glaring evidence this year.
Photo credits: Abdul Sami Haqqani.